Cannes to screen Hong Kong protest documentary, risking controversy

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The Cannes Film Festival will show a new documentary on Friday chronicling the 2019 Hong Kong pro-democracy protests and shining a light on protesters’ stories, in a surprise addition to the line-up for the cinema showcase.

“Revolution of Our Times,” by native Hong Kong filmmaker Kiwi Chow, follows several protesters and documents clashes with police, in what the director previously described to Reuters as his attempt to help the movement live on.

China introduced a sweeping national security law a year ago to crack down on what it deems subversion, secessionism, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, and cinemas, universities and art galleries have cancelled screenings or exhibitions of protest-related works.

The Hong Kong government recently enacted new guidelines that allow authorities to censor films on the basis of safeguarding national security.

“Being able to have a premiere in the Cannes festival is a good chance to let the world know that there are still people persisting in Hong Kong,” Chow told Reuters. “I hope they can understand what happened in 2019 and bring some inspiration to the world.”

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